chunky sparkle nail design

This past weekend I went to my very last Charity Ball event of my university career! How bitter sweet! Every year my school throws a big party and raises money for a different local charity. It's always fun to have an excuse to dress up during the dull winter months! Which also meant I had an excuse to paint my nails all pretty! It might take a bit of time to achieve (having to wait for each layer to dry) but the results are beautiful!

Step 1: Essie First Base Base Coat
Always always always start off with a base coat - especially when using a black polish!

Step 2: Essie Licorice Black Polish
It normally takes me one thick coat or two thinner ones to achieve optimal blackness!

Step 3: Nicole By O.P.I. Be Awesome Glitter Polish
For this step, instead of painting on the polish, I used a toothpick to individually place each diamond sparkle... I know this sounds extremely meticulous. You can apply the sparkle polish any way you'd like! I just found the polish-to-sparkle ratio in this bottle was a little off.

Step 4: O.P.I. RapiDry Top Coat
Finish off with a top coat to seal in those sparkles! Because the diamond-shaped sparkles are so big, it would be easy for them to chip off without a top coat!

Would you give this design a try?

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the near future...

I always find this time of year to be difficult. School things start to pick up, the weather is typically dreadful and spring always seems so far away. I've definitely got my hands full (balancing school, work, tutoring, babysitting and wedding planning) and I find it helpful to just list off things that I'm looking forward to in the near future. There are so many great things that will happen in a short amount of time, I just need to tough it out for the next little while! Here is my current list of what I'm looking forward to:


-The day after Valentine's Day. Cory and I don't really acknowledge Valentine's Day. We normally find a cool meal to make, we cook it together, watch a movie and call it a night. We do, however, go out and buy cheap chocolates the next day. Chocolate is my weakness.

-March 1st. Not only is March 1st Cory's birthday, it's also the day I finally get to find out if I've been accepted to teacher's college! That's also when I'll be deciding if I'll be staying in my hometown or moving away! Big adult life decisions coming up!

-Spring! It's my favourite time of year! The days have already started to get longer, but it doesn't feel like spring until the snow is all gone and the outside world starts to look alive again.

-My birthday! I'll be turning 22 the end of March. This birthday will be a lot different than ones in the past (not having one of my bestest friends and my sister here to celebrate), but it falls on Easter weekend, which is also one of my favourite times!

-June 1st. The day my chummy comes home from a year studying abroad in England! We've got lots to catch up on! Although my computer doesn't like it when I use Skype and we don't message each other everyday, I know when we're reunited, we'll be able to pick up where we left off and I can't wait!

These are the things coming up in the near future for me. Of course, there will be a big wedding day later in the summer and all the huge life events that will lead up to that. But for now, this list is what I'm most looking forward to. I just gotta make it through the next little while, which won't even be so bad!

What are you most looking forward to right now?

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bridal show tips

Cory and I ready to model last weekend
Bridal shows (or bridal expos) are an awesome place to start your whole wedding planning process! They're where you can find local wedding vendors all under one roof: photographers, caterers, cake bakers, DJ's - the works! I've actually volunteered at a bridal expo in town for ten years now, modelling and helping out with the wedding fashion show! It's so much fun and has its benefits when you or someone you know is planning a wedding! Over the years, I've come up with a few tips for any bridal parties planning to check out a bridal show!

1. Have a Game Plan
Already have a photographer? Save time by passing by the photography booths and focus on the services that you still need! I know this sounds pretty obvious, but bridal shows can be overwhelming! People are handing you business cards, brochures and free samples left, right and centre! Stay focused by letting your team know your purpose for going to the show and who you'd like to talk to. You might not have a specific goal other than to be inspired and that works too!

2. Keep You Bridal Brigade Small
Depending on the size of your bridal party, you might want to go with just your future spouse, your maid of honour and your parents. The more people you bring, the harder it is to make your way through the rows of booths and the inevitable crowd.

3. Prep Your Inbox!
A lot of companies at bridal shows have some sort of prize draw where you'll need to write your name, phone number and email address down on a ballot in order to enter. These prizes are super appealing - of course you want to win! Some brides will make labels with their info on it to just stick on the ballots and save time from writing out their details at every booth. It's also often suggested for couples to create a wedding email address to keep wedding planning emails all in one spot. Just note that even if you don't win those draws, the vendors now have your email address and you'll likely get a promo message from them in the future!

4. Wear Comfy Shoes
These shows are all about walking around! No one will judge you for wearing a sensible pair of running shoes. The vendors are the ones trying to impress you! You wouldn't want to leave the show early and miss out on finding the perfect wedding favours just because you wore four-inch heels!

5. Bring Snacks
There will most likely be cake samples, but you'll definitely be glad you brought water! Try and prevent any potential bride-zilla moments by making sure you grab a bite before you plan on checking out the show!

Have you been to a bridal expo before?

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refresh: 2016

It's a new year! So many possibilities! Everyone loves a fresh start, and the mystery of a whole year ahead can be exciting and even scary. This is the time of year when people share their resolutions, swarm the fitness centres, go on juice cleanses and slowly revert back to their old ways by Easter (or even Valentine's Day). I've never been a big fan of resolutions... sure I've made them in the past, but unless I was constantly reminded of what I resolved to do, it would never happen. A video by Mr. Kate gave be a bit of inspiration this time around. It's not fair to yourself to make resolutions just for the sake of making them. I think goals are more important because there's something about resolutions that seems so finite. I can set a goal for myself that doesn't have a deadline or cut off date like a resolution does. All this to say, I'm going to share with you my goals for 2016 and I hope the video below can also inspire you to refresh this year!

This year, my number one goal is to focus on my own well being. I anticipate lots of life changes, stressful situations and times of frustration in the year to come. So many new chapters will begin in my life and during those times, my first instinct may not be to take care of myself: my mental state, my health, my passions... Cory always reminds me that in order to be able to help people to the best of my ability, I need to make sure I take care of myself first. I want to take care of myself by practicing yoga. I'm going to be doing my own yoga thing every day this month (I'll check back in February on that), just to get into the habit of taking 15-20 minutes a day to relax. I also want to be more diligent in expressing myself by journaling. There are lots of amazing times to be had this year, and I want to document them all!

Have you set any goals this year?

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